The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, in the United States, there is a shortfall in HIV testing and treatment technology, which is affecting CDC’s efforts to end spreading the new infections of HIV.
The director of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STD and TB prevention, Dr. Jonathan Mermin said, “We have the tools to end the HIV epidemic, but a tool is only useful if it’s in someone’s hands. This is why it’s vital to bring testing and treatment to everyone with HIV and to empower them to take control of their lives and change the course of the epidemic.”
In 2016, nearly 80 percent of new HIV cases were transmitted from around 40 percent of HIV positive people who were unaware of their infection or who were not being treated in spite of getting diagnosed.
The CDC reported that nearly 15 percent of people with undiagnosed HIV was responsible for almost 40 percent of total viral transmissions.
Further findings showed that approximately one-quarter of HIV positive people, who were not receiving proper treatment, accounted for 43 percent of total HIV transmission cases.
In the latest CDC publication March 18, the new report highlights an urgent need in the US to expand HIV testing and treatment, which coincides with the opening of CDC’s 2019 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta.
According to a new government initiative, it is expected to get more people tested for HIV and boosting treatment rates. It will first focus on the 48 counties having the highest rates of HIV, including Washington, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and seven more states having more HIV cases in urban areas. By doing that, the government is trying to minimize new HIV infections by at least 90 percent over a period of 10 years.
CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said, “Diagnose, treat, protect, and respond: These are the key strategies in our historic initiative to end the HIV epidemic in America by engaging all the people at risk into comprehensive prevention strategies.”
According to Dr. Redfield, “These new Vital Signs data show the tremendous impact we can have by helping all Americans living with HIV know their diagnosis, quickly get into treatment, and remain in care to stay healthy.” A person suffering from HIV should immediately start taking antiretroviral therapy (ART Therapy), the CDC urges. Because ART therapy palliates the amount of HIV present in the body to a very low-level if taken as per doctor’s recommendation. Palliation of virus reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to others through sex.